Anti-rejection medications taken by organ transplant patients can put them at higher risk for skin cancer. In fact, solid organ transplant recipients are 65 times more likely to develop skin cancer than the general population.
For this reason, the skin cancer specialty team collaborates with the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Transplant Center to educate transplant patients about skin cancer risks and to monitor them for early signs of the disease. Skin care, including a full skin examination, are a regular part of our transplant patients' follow-up care.
Specialists in Transplant Dermatology
Medical College of Wisconsin transplant dermatologists and other staff are knowledgeable about the skin cancer risks transplant recipients face, and are experienced with the many options available for treating skin cancer.
Am I at Increased Risk for Skin Cancer?
All transplant patients, regardless of skin color, are at higher risk for skin cancer than people who have not received transplants. In addition, transplant recipients with the following characteristics are at significantly increased risk for skin cancer:
- Fair or easily burned skin
- Excessive freckling
- Blue, green or hazel eyes
- Red or blonde hair
- Outdoor occupation or history of extensive sun exposure
- Family history of skin cancer
- Personal history of skin cancer
- Older than age 60 at the time of transplantation
Prevention and Early Detection are Key
For high-risk transplant patients, skin cancer can become a severe problem. Repeated surgeries for skin cancer can significantly decrease quality of life due to frequent procedures and scarring.
Virtual Visits Are Available
Safe and convenient virtual visits by video let you get the care you need via a mobile device, tablet or computer wherever you are. We’ll gather your medical records for you and get our experts’ input so we can offer treatment options without an in-person visit. To schedule a virtual visit, call 1-866-680-0505.
Cancer and the COVID-19 Vaccine
There is currently no data that suggests current or former cancer patients should avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Cancer can weaken your immune system, so we recommend that most patients get the vaccine as soon as possible.